Church Street Graveyard, Mobile, Alabama, United states of America (Sometimes called Church Street Cemetery)
This graveyard was first established in 1819 as an alternative graveyard to the one in the churchyard at the local Catholic Cathedral. By 1820, it became the city's main graveyard for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The graveyard had not been officially bought from the local landowner, but because of the popularity of the graveyard, William Kennedy gave the city this piece of land.
The Graveyard was split into three groups: the Northeast area where they buried the Catholics; the Southeast area where they buried the Protestants; and the remaining land was designated for "Strangers" (people who were not Catholic or Protestant).
The graveyard was in operation from 1819 to 1898. Many notable war heroes were buried here including Edmund Gaines and John Cain, the creator of Mardi Gras. The graveyard closed in 1898.
The Graveyard is very haunted.
Charles Boyington was a printer from Connecticut. He had moved to Mobile in 1833 so that he could write about life in the South. Boyington was also a prolific Gambler and spent alot of time playing card games. This put Boyington into debt. Boyington also faced discrimination because he was from the North and people were wary of him. Boyington became friends with a man named Nathaniel Frost, who also enjoyed gambling. The two often went to the Church Street Graveyard to read the poetry on the headstones and to pick berries.
In 1834, Frost was found murdered in the Graveyard. He had been stabbed numerous times and his money was missing. People instantly suspected Boyington. As a result, Boyington tried to catch a ship out of Mobile but the police caught and arrested him. He was put on trial for the murder of Nathaniel Frost. Boyington insisted that he was innocent and refused to co-operate with the police. The Police had the Preacher try to talk Boyington into giving a confession but Boyington ignored the preacher and wrote to the local paper proclaiming his innocence.
Despite the fact that there was no real evidence against him, Charles Boyington was convicted of the murder of Nathaniel Frost on February 20th, 1835. He was sentenced to hang. During his execution however, he managed to escape but the police caught him and carried him back to the gallows. Boyington continued to declare his innocence and said that an Oak tree would sprout from his grave and this would confirm his innocence. Boyington was carried back to the gallows but since he would not stay still (so that the executioner could actually hang him), they just threw him off the gallows head-first. He broke his neck and died.
Since Boyington was classified as a murderer, he couldn't be buried in the cemetery. So he was buried in the gravekeeper's garden, at the very edge of the graveyard. After he was buried, a tree started to grow from his grave. When it was fully grown, it was clear that it was an oak tree. Boyington's prediction had come true and it seemed likely that the people of Mobile had hanged an innocent man. Boyington's headstone has been removed but the oak is still there today. The Oak is famous and is known as 'The Boyington Oak'.
The Graveyard is said to be haunted by Boyington's ghost. People hear footsteps throughout the graveyard and some people have even reported that they could hear whispering and crying sounds coming from the Boyington Oak.